I'm quite confident we're not the first couple in history to somehow think this would be the case and I can bet we won't be the last. I have been having many conversations with others who can readily recall the days of waiting in the final, somewhat excruciating (more for her than me) period of pregnancy when you are now past the point of wonder and reaching the point of impatience. As I've been experiencing, speaking of, and thinking on this current state of affairs I've had to wrestle with myself and God in the process and I've come to a conclusion, waiting can fade even before it's over.
You see, I've spent much of my life (as many of us do I would imagine) waiting for things. When I was in school every day I'd wait for it to be over, when graduation approached I had to wait until it happened, when I finally met the woman I would marry there was much waiting involved. It seems as though we're conditioned somehow to wait. And the worst part is that I suck at it. Even after so much time spent pining over what is to come, waiting (usually impatiently) still comes bearing anxiety and grumpiness. More than that it always bears the question (for me at least): Why God? Why does it have to be this way? What are you trying to do to me? But thanks to some conversations and my current personal reading, I've been pushed into having to wrestle with this notion waiting, patience, and acceptance.
Some current reading material has challenged my perception of God. Do I view him as some magical genie who either grants my wishes or doesn't? Or is God the one who fulfills my needs, not by accommodating my desires but by being all I desire? Is the presence of God what is of most importance to me, or do I want him to bless me with what I think is necessary?
After a weekend of expecting the baby to arrive because it seemed as though it was going to happen, we've both had to set expectation aside. It was draining me. With every movement or sound that came from my wife I was on the edge of my seat with hospital bags in sight and I quickly became exhausted. Emotionally and physically drained because we weren't sleeping much and cranky because our expectations weren't met. So it is with God sometimes. I become exhausted and drained because I'm on the edge of my seat expecting and when that is not met, I am let down.
Does this mean God has somehow let me down? Does it mean that my yet to be born child has let me down? I don't think so. I think I'm letting myself down because I'm creating a situation that breeds disappointment. If my child needs to met my expectations, I will be let down and they will be hurt by me. If God needs to meet my expectations, I will be let down because that's not who God is.
However, if the mere presence of God is what I desire most, then I cannot be let down because when I know his presence in a moment, I'm satisfied. If my child is free to be who they are and all I want is to be with them, I will not be let down because presence is enough.
So with this in mind, the wait is lifted. Waiting for something doesn't let me down, it makes me excited. Waiting for God is becomes exciting. Waiting for this child becomes exciting, and when they finally do arrive I will get to learn who they are. When God graces me with the experience of his presence, I can learn who he is.
So the wait has been lifted for now. But it's certainly not over, though I can look at it from a perspective that allows me to sleep at night and doesn't produce disappointment but joy. For now I'll enjoy the thought of what it will be like to hold my child, and when that time comes I can be blown away by how much better it is than I could have ever imagined. And I'll enjoy the thought of meeting with God and be dumbfounded by just how my thoughts pale in comparison to the real experience.